Traffic Congestion

Traffic congestion is one of the biggest problems facing Redmond.

Commutes that used to take minutes are now taking half an hour or more. Most residents who choose to live in Redmond are now being forced to spend over an hour a day commuting to and from work even when work is mere miles away. This reduces the quality of life for all residents of Redmond and results in less time being spent together with family and the increased outsourcing of our most important responsibility – the raising of our children.

As your City Councilmember, my focus will be to re-establish the right priority around transportation. I will have a laser focus on reducing overall commute times so we can all live and enjoy life. Mass transit plans and bike and pedestrian improvements will no longer be a goal in and of themselves – but rather a means to improving overall commute times for everyone.

New metrics will be established that can be used to measure all new transportation projects against. These metrics will be based entirely on the most common commute scenarios through the City during peak hours. The current Transportation Master Plan sets the aspirational goal to see traffic delays nearly double by year 2030. I aspire to significantly reduce traffic delays from their current levels.

The major projects that are being funded by the City today include the Downtown Two-Way conversion project – a $27 million project that has been ongoing for over a year. Despite the steep price of the project, and despite the traffic nightmares it has created for more than 12 months, the City readily admits the project will have zero impact to overall commute times through downtown.

The City is also involved in funding a pedestrian/bike trail under 520 at NE 40th – a $5 million plus project that will have nearly zero impact on overall commute times to and from Microsoft.

And in all irony, the City drove a $1 million plus project to remove critical north/south lanes from 166th Ave NE which have resulted in a terrible increase of traffic gridlock during the most important commute hours.

Common excuses such as traffic coming from outside Redmond, or the main corridors being the responsibility of the county/state, or even the so-called solutions like ST3 local rail that are a decade out and will have minimal if not negative impact on intra-city commute times will be no more.

The community at large has demonstrated a willingness to pay for better transportation infrastructure in countless different ways – new tolling, increased employment licensing fees, developer impact fees, additional local sales tax and most recently the double and tripling of car registration fees.

Now is the time to give Redmond what they have been asking for – less time commuting and more time with their families.

Safety

The City has a profound responsibility – more so than any other level of government – to provide a safe community for its residents. This trust between City and resident has been eroding over the last many years.

Car prowling has become the new norm leading to theft and identity fraud. Our family – notwithstanding living at the end of a cul-de-sac in the Education Hill community – has been hit twice in as many years.

We have seen an increase in vandalism against our places of worship. This type of targeted hate and criminal activity has no place in our community.

Our families are feeling unsafe when trying to use our community parks and trails. There have been far too many incidents of random violent attacks. Not to mention, the problems with off-leash dogs. Our current Council is more concerned with increasing growth through downtown construction projects than they are with keeping our community safe.

Instead of focusing on these and other community safety concerns – the current Planning Commission and City Council have been spending countless meetings and talk time discussing where the local marijuana licensees should be able to set up shop. Their solution? Right in the middle of downtown – next to the Molly Moon’s ice cream shop and Zeek’s pizza parlor. As your representative, I will work to keep drug shops properly zoned – away from places where our children play and congregate.

Also top of the Planning Commission and City Council priority list have been countless meetings on the temporary encampments – also known as “tent cities”. The result of their endless discussions? Out of touch recommendations such as increasing the frequency, duration and total number of instances allowed per permit. Meanwhile furniture has been pulled from City Hall to reduce the overall homeless population using that as a day facility.

As your City Councilmember – I will keep the focus on improving safety for all.

Keeping Politics Out of City Council

City government should not be a place to play partisan politics. One of the things I have been most disturbed by is the recent attempt by the City Council in trying to influence the result of an election. Washington State provides an Initiative process to empower citizens to take an active role in proposing, amending or repealing new legislation. Regardless of the wisdom behind any particular State-wide Initiative – there is absolutely no need for the City to invade the sacred process of voting and attempting to tip the vote one way or another.

As your City Councilmember – my focus will be to represent you by listening to your voice – not trying to get my political views advanced through Proclamations or Resolutions made on behalf of the City.

If there are other topics you wish to learn more about my views – please contact me at jason@jasonforredmond.com.